Phedi

Phedi is a large and massively spread out community that lies at the far Northern end of Khotang district within Kepilasgadhi Rural Municipality. It is the largest ward in the entire district. More than 60% of Fedi’s land mass is covered by wild and thick forest. The elevation range is from 1300 msl to 3620 msl. The settlements here are small and spread out so one has to walk for at least 1-2 hours to reach another nearby settlement. Phedi derives its name from the picturesque Mayum peak. Phedi means the base of a peak in Nepali and most of the settlements here lies at the foot of this peak.

It is home to about 700 households and 4100 people. The main community residing here are Rai, Gurung, Sherpa, Tamang, Dalit, Chhetri and Newar. Traditional farming of maize, finger millet, wheat, potatoes etc. is the primary occupation of people here. Recently, people have been cultivating black cardamom as a lucrative cash crop. Phedi exports one of the highest volume of cardamom from this region.

The nearest airport from here is 1 and a half days away at Diktel, the district headquarter. Now, a rough road track has opened up to the center of Phedi but it operates only during dry season and is very basic. Due to its extreme slope, rivers and fragile geography, the roads keep getting damaged every year by landslide and floods. Most people still need to walk up to a day either to Hurlung or Diktel to catch regular public vehicles.

The extreme geography of Phedi makes it one of the most under developed areas of the district.

Phedi has intermittent and unreliable power supply through a few small micro hydro power plants. It has not been connected to national electricity grid yet. A sole telecom tower is powered by solar generator. The phone networks are unreliable and patchy. The internet connection here is negligible.

There is one high school, 3 mid schools and 6 primary schools in Phedi. Some of the classrooms in some schools are new and earthquake safe but many structures in various schools are old, crumbling and unsafe.

There is one health post here. It takes upwards of 5 hours for some of the community members to reach this sole health post due to the topography. There have been some community development work run by a local NGO called Janasewa Samaj Nepal through Poverty Alleviation Fund and USAID. Gurkha Welfare scheme has also supported in some work intermittently. It is still one of the most under developed areas in entire Khotang district due to its vast distance away from the district center and its rugged difficult terrain.